Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based businessman Sana Satish Babu’s proximity with some politicians and top bureaucrats from Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh has always been a matter of discussion in the bureaucratic circles. Those babus who were perceived close to him were considered to be powerful by their colleagues, and they spoke highly about his connections and clout in New Delhi.
Despite his dubious reputation, which came out in the open after his links with controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi surfaced, certain bureaucrats continued to maintain close friendship with Satish Babu. They are reported to have entered into a partnership in various real estate projects taken up by Satish Babu in the two Telugu states, although their names would nowhere surface officially.
There are a couple of officers who are said to have taken the businessman’s help in construction and development of their properties, including bungalows at Prashasannagar in Jubilee Hills, where many IAS and IPS officers reside.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had earlier decided to arrest Satish Babu, whom they saw as a facilitator handling bribes for favours to the accused in various CBI cases.
Sources in the IAS and IPS fraternity, who are in the know of the activities and connections of Satish Babu, told Deccan Chronicle that he was close to top bureaucrats in the N. Chandrababu Naidu regime in Andhra Pradesh, while in Telangana state, he was “liked” by a few bureaucrats. “Since he belongs to East Godavari district, he has huge interests in Andhra Pradesh. He was in the habit of giving expensive gifts and hosting parties for top babus,” they said.
Since he always was heard boasting about his connections in New Delhi, which sources said mostly pertain to the time the UPA was in power, the top babus wanted to be in his good books. “A telephone call from him would be seen as a sign of prestige. At least two officers took Satish Babu’s help while constructing their houses in Prashasannagar,” sources said.
A CBI official said that while Qureshi was acting as a “middleman” for some public servants in New Delhi, Satish Babu had a similar reputation back home. There have been murmurs in the corridors of power of some bureaucrats indulging in land settlements, particularly in AP with Satish Babu’s backing. “Sana’s real estate interests are in mainly in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Vij-ayawada,” sources said.
It is learnt that there are quite a few officers who make it a point to call on Satish Babu whenever they visit Delhi for official work. “Lunch and dinner meetings of some bureaucrats with Satish Babu was always known to us. Some bureaucrats like to get cosy to such businessmen who have a clout in Delhi for obvious reasons,” remarked one official.
Ever since Satish Babu’s name cropped up in the Qureshi case, the CBI wanted to arrest him. “Much before the CBI filed an FIR against its former special director Rakesh Asthana, the CBI had moved a proposal to arrest Satish Babu on the grounds that there was a need for his interrogation as all his versions about why he paid bribes to certain CBI officials were unreliable,”a source said.